How much of your life revolves around you, and how much revolves around Christ? What we surround ourselves with, we enjoy, for the most part we shy away from those things we find distasteful, those items that inhibit us from our desires. What we want, if we can obtain it, we will accept. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” (1 Cor. 10:23)
Not everything that we pray for should we be praying for, yet many have yet to discern the will of God, to know how to ask for what should be asked for, and they will not receive what they asked for because they ask only to be able to “consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:3) They have yet to understand that they are to be surrounding themselves with. Everything that this world has to offer is offered with only one truth behind it, it matters not what that item is, it will not last, it will pass away. It make little sense for the believer who professes Christ as Lord to seek that which is not of the Lord, to ask for something that is not in His will shows a person who is not studying the Scriptures, to ask and believe we will not receive is to forgo the promises of the Lord.
Far too many Christians do not understand these precepts, and so they continue to ask amiss, they see certain desires they have as not worthy to bring before the Lord, they ask for a piece of bread, when God does not only offer the whole loaf, but everything needed to make bread every day. Therein is the key, if you will, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) And yet far too many are satisfied with the crumbs, they see themselves as Lazarus, (Luke 16:20) poor beggars and not children of the Most High, heirs to the kingdom of heaven, and so they seek less. They surround themselves with trinkets of wood and stone when they could have gold and silver.
What we desire, we work for, we do not expect others to give us out of their bounty, therein lies the path of the enabled society we now live in, those who have wants find ways of honor, if they are honorable men, to obtain those things. One cannot live a life of sin and expect the blessings of God, and no one can expect their prayers to be answered who does not believe in faith that God has the ability to answer those prayers. “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matt. 21:22)
My beautiful wife and I while on one of our nearly daily strolls together, found a small cat near death, in fact, when we got it to the vet, we were told that it more than likely would have been dead by morning if we had not had compassion on it. My wife’s fervent prayers for a month focused not only on the health of that cat, but on our other cat becoming friends with it. Her prayers are being answered, slowly, but surely. Now if the Lord God will take the time to answer the prayers of one woman about two cats, why would He not answer the greater things, but the true question is, why will we not ask them of Him.
Many years ago when the long time pastor of a very large, God-fearing church gave his young assistant the opportunity to open the morning service with prayers and thanksgiving, the young man went on for nearly twenty minutes, quoting Scripture, addressing in-depth issues of the day, repeating phrases from other well-known pastors of the day, until the older gentleman stepped up behind him, put his hand on his shoulder, and said, “Young man, just tell Him you love Him and ask Him for something.” Our prayers are to come from the heart, they are to open with praise of course, they are to be in His will, yes, but they must come as if from a child to his Father, we tell Him we love Him, we tell Him what we want, and then we go about our lives with the knowledge that we will receive what we asked for.
Our Father in heaven did not tell us to come to Him in prayer so that He could turn us down, but it is our responsibility to not ask amiss, it is our responsibility to understand what it means to be in His will, and like my wonderful wife and our now two cats, it is our responsibility to be patient in the answer He will provide, always knowing that what His will is, is always the best answer.